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Just got my AT-W100s - Page 2

post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Calanctus
Interesting; I thought the EMP was considered a fairly powerful amp...? Looking forward to hearing about your results.
It's moving way up on my list of amps to try with the Sony I've only heard the EMP once, but it's a real possibility.
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Calanctus


I'll consider tube rolling (though that voids the warranty).
How could rolling in the tubes with the same designation void the warranty? What are you supposed to do when the original tubes go bad?
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by daycart1


How could rolling in the tubes with the same designation void the warranty? What are you supposed to do when the original tubes go bad?
OK, I checked my warranty info and it says:
"The following conditions will render void your Earmax warranty: ...2) inserting any tubes or type of tubes other than those supplied by [retailer who sold the Earmax]."

This is a little vague--if I insert the same 'type of tubes' as originally supplied, but not from the retailer, what happens?
post #19 of 39
Thread Starter 
Calanctus,

I'm sure Tomcat and 88sound will agree that the EMP is excellent where bass is concerned. It is very, very good with the Sennheiser 600/580 headphones (very tuneful bass there); unfortunately, it was simply a sound that was a bit lacking for me. It's simply a signature characteristic of the Sennheiser sound that you feel like you're back in the audience--I much prefer the Grado-type "they are here" experience.
post #20 of 39
.
Quote:
I'm sure Tomcat and 88sound will agree that the EMP is excellent where bass is concerned.
The EMP has a very beautiful, musical, tubey sound when paired with the right phones. Even though the EMP is advertised as "designed for low impedance phones...like Grado" (and if I'm reading this spec wrong please tell me) the EMP specs state that it is to be used for phones of 35 Ohms or greater. The Grado's are 32 Ohm...Correct? Although I like the EMP Grado RS1/325 combination, the midrange and high end sound so good I can overlook the soft bass on most material.

The W100's at 48 Ohms or even the W2002's at 40 Ohms seem to be a more synergistic combination with the EMP than the Grado's. The great midrange and highs are still there, but the bass is tighter.

Quote:
The hot high end and shy bass are often a sign of not enough power.
How true...the EMP does not seem shy in the bass department when paired with current hungry phones as much as soft or a little sloppy.....do not let this alone deter you from the EMP, it is still a great sounding amp and this is an observation made with 32 Ohm phones and material that has VERY hot bass transients. I also recently acquired an amp that has very high current capability (over .5 Amps at the headphone jack). This new acquisition makes an easy comparison between almost enough current and more than enough current. It has also proven to me that the RA-1, the amp designed for grado's cannot deliver all the current these phones can take.

Enter the Grace Designs Model 901 Reference Headphone Amplifier. I am waiting for sufficient time with this new amp before I post a review. I am selfishly having way too much fun listening to music to do a review that will do this beast justice. One word of advice regarding the 901....don't drop it on your foot!

post #21 of 39
Quote:
How do the W100s compare to the 580 in bass extension, treble smoothness, and timbral accuracy (my 3 main criteria)?
Calanctus,

favourably. Very favourably. To my ears, the W100 is better in every regard. Easily.

I have always said that the W100 needs lots of break-in. Some are impressed with the W100's performance right away, some like it after 100 hours and some have even found that it took them 400 hours to fall in love. There is a possibility of production variance, wood is a natural, organic material after all. But I suspect that the specific nature of the break-in process has a lot to do with those differences as well.

I'd recommend breaking it in at normal or slightly above normal levels. In my experience, it might not be all that helpful if one creates operating conditions that are rather unusual - if one plays the headphone very loud or for very long periods, days on end.

The W100 has a brighter tonal balance than the Beyer 770 Pro, but, to my ears, it is not as bright as the Senn HD600 or the AKG K501. In order to improve the W100's bass extension and impact, I'd play some recording with a lot of low and slamming bass content through it, for several hours straight or overnight (but not excessively loud!). I would be very surprised if things didn't improve. And as far as the treble is concerned, the W100 has more upper mid response than the Beyer 770 Pro, its soundstage is closer to the listener, but to my ears, it is a lot smoother and homogenous than any other headphone I have ever listened to, including the Beyers, Senns or AKGs. It is possible that the individual shape of our ears or individual differences in our ear canal resonance frequency play a role in this. I don't know. However, I have noticed that the W100 seems somewhat sensitive to placement. I prefer wearing it forward, with the pads touching the rear of my earlobes. And there is JML's conehead mod, of course: carefully bending the two connecting tubes to achieve a slightly tighter fit. This will improve the W100's bass extension and will shift its tonal balance a little lower. BTW, using my EMP for both the 770 Pro and the W100, I prefer the W100's bass performance. It's tighter, more tuneful, has greater timbral accuracy, it's musically more convincing to me.

calanctus, please, just don't give up!
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by 88Sound
Enter the Grace Designs Model 901 Reference Headphone Amplifier. I am waiting for sufficient time with this new amp before I post a review. I am selfishly having way too much fun listening to music to do a review that will do this beast justice. One word of advise regarding the 901....don't drop it on your foot!
Very interesting headphone amp. Do let us know a bit about it as soon as you get some impressions. It lists for $1495USD. Where were you able to obtain it and for how much if you don't mind?

http://www.gracedesign.com/gallery/901.htm
post #23 of 39
Blighty,

YGPM
post #24 of 39
I looked at your profile...you have an EMP but no HD600's
post #25 of 39
Quote:
I looked at your profile...you have an EMP but no HD600's
TimSchirmer,

If that quote is about me read on otherwise I will have to quote Emily Latila "Nevermind".

Yes, no 600's well here's my excuse which of course will not satisfy any 600 owner/lover but here goes. When I initially was getting into this high end headphone thing I had already become aclimated to the 325 sound. When I attempted to take it a step up I auditioned the HD600's and the RS1's from the headphone jack of an NAD Integrated amp and did not like the distance from the music the HD600's placed you. Although I recognize the 600's as an excellent phone, most of my musical experience has been either on stage or in the studio, not in the audience. The Grado's are a more on stage experience while the 600's are more of an audience experience, at least with the setup I auditioned them with. The EMP has proven an excellent match for both the W100's & the W2002's (near front row experience). The Grace has given me a new outlook on both the 325's and RS1's. The ETY4S's sound great from the Grace but they also sound great from the RA-1. I like too many things, may I be presumptuous and give this disease a name....hmmm how about the Joelongwood syndrome.

Well I've got the "syndrome", maybe I can make some money to feed my habit by developing a twelve step program!
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by 88Sound
.
Enter the Grace Designs Model 901 Reference Headphone Amplifier. I am waiting for sufficient time with this new amp before I post a review. I am selfishly having way too much fun listening to music to do a review that will do this beast justice. One word of advice regarding the 901....don't drop it on your foot!

Do you listen through an adapter (that amp seems to have no headphone output)?
post #27 of 39
Tomcat, I will persist--as I said, I'm giving the W100/EMP combo a solid month of listening. Obviously you, Kubernetes, 88sound and other posters really enjoy them. Since the previous owner of my W100s logged some 300 hours on them, I'm not that hopeful for a significant change in their sound--but based on what I've read, the EMP will improve with time. I've already noticed the difference once the tubes have warmed up for 4 hours or so, by the way--it's quite noticeable. It's moments like that which make me feel that audio is a worthwhile hobby.

I agree with you that the sonic spectrum of the W100s is more uniform than the DT770s, which are notable for a 'detached' bass--a very independent bass, somehow living by itself at the lower end of the spectrum.

Quote:
Originally posted by Tomcat


And there is JML's conehead mod, of course: carefully bending the two connecting tubes to achieve a slightly tighter fit. This will improve the W100's bass extension and will shift its tonal balance a little lower.
That must be one of the cheapest mods to implement in the audio universe--but since it will probably render the cans unsalable, I'd only try it once I'm convinced I want to keep them, and am looking for ways to optimize the sound quality. Still an interesting tip.

--
Calanctus
post #28 of 39
interesting. For some reason I am just too stingy to get w2002's. For that much...I think i'd rather go stax.
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Calanctus

Tomcat, I will persist--as I said, I'm giving the W100/EMP combo a solid month of listening.
Calanctus,
I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Quote:
but since it will probably render the cans unsalable
Not really. You can bend the tubes back into their original shape. And why worry about salability?
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by 88Sound

The EMP has proven an excellent match for both the W100's & the W2002's
88Sound,
you could be right about Joelongwood syndrome. You realize you not only have to post a Grace 901 review but a comparative W100/W2002 review as well. Please.
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